Author Topic: UK Mustachian life basics?  (Read 37225 times)

cerat0n1a

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #150 on: September 26, 2017, 12:00:55 AM »
I asked someone at work today about this, and she said she'd only ever seen children refer to adults as Miss FirstName in American storybooks. I could start it here.

My children are nearly adults, but I can't think of anyone other than teachers that they would have called Miss (or Mr.) over the last 20 years. Adults are as likely to be "Lily's mum" or "Jack's dad" as Mr. Smith.

In my own childhood (i.e. going back to the 1970s) I can think of a few older people who would have been Mr. or Mrs. but Miss would only have been for teachers. So I think the rule is that children generally address people outside the family in the same way that adults do.

I think that you being American and it being a church setting means you could introduce yourself as Miss Kwill and it would work though.

dreams_and_discoveries

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #151 on: September 26, 2017, 01:29:22 AM »
Yeah, addressing someone as Miss seems really strange and old fashioned to me, especially as I think Miss is such a loaded word in gender stereotypes.

It also has class connotations, as it was servants called the Masters children.

dreams_and_discoveries

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #152 on: September 26, 2017, 02:10:40 AM »
*Soapbox alert*

I have issue with Miss and Mrs, especially when children are asked to use them - we are inherently teaching children that a woman's marital status is critical to know before even talking to her, whereas it's irrelevant to a man. Is this really what we want children to believe?

As for the class thing, it can come across as seeing yourself as a higher class asking to be called by a formal Mr/Ms, especially nowadays when everything is getting more and more informal.


However being American, you can get away with whatever you choose :).

Kwill

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #153 on: September 26, 2017, 01:17:55 PM »
However being American, you can get away with whatever you choose :).

:-)  Well, that bit sounds good anyway. Except if the rules are always different for me, it sort of means I'll never belong here. When people open up about what they think of Americans, I sometimes wish I hadn't brought it up. Apparently we're big and noisy and aggressive. Also, we eat funny and talk through our noses.

dreams_and_discoveries

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #154 on: September 26, 2017, 11:39:57 PM »
However being American, you can get away with whatever you choose :).

:-)  Well, that bit sounds good anyway. Except if the rules are always different for me, it sort of means I'll never belong here. When people open up about what they think of Americans, I sometimes wish I hadn't brought it up. Apparently we're big and noisy and aggressive. Also, we eat funny and talk through our noses.

Belonging is a strange one, do any of us really belong anywhere?

katekat

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #155 on: September 27, 2017, 02:57:05 AM »
I have never heard 'Title FirstName' from a British person. As a kid, authority figures like teachers and doctors were 'Title Surname', adults were usually FirstName if they'd introduced themselves (since that's how they always did) and if they haven't they were often 'so and so's mam' when talked about and rarely addressed directly in named terms. More intimate respectful relationships were often 'Aunty FirstName' or 'Uncle FirstName' regardless of actual relation or lack of.

The American (or, in general, non-British) exemption from class markers is something that MrKat and I talk about a lot, especially now that he's working a manual job with a very working class peer set. He's from an affluent background but that's invisible to them, and he also blends well with my middle-class family and coworkers. I think British people often have at least a little bit of class anxiety in any situation where they don't blend well, although maybe that's my upper-working-class/lower-middle-class background lens applying itself to other people ;)

cerat0n1a

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #156 on: September 27, 2017, 04:02:47 AM »
Except if the rules are always different for me, it sort of means I'll never belong here. When people open up about what they think of Americans, I sometimes wish I hadn't brought it up. Apparently we're big and noisy and aggressive. Also, we eat funny and talk through our noses.

Everywhere has stereotypes about people from other places. Overweight and loud would both be common beliefs to have about Americans, I've never heard eating funny and talking through noses before (although the French have a stereotype that Americans speak without opening their mouths.)

As for belonging - that's surely for you to decide?

My grandad, an Englishman, moved to rural Wales in the 1950s, to run a hotel in a seaside village, employing a number of people. He learned to speak Welsh, became a local councillor, was a preacher in the local chapel and was involved in preservation of the local steam railway. When he left after 15 years, there was a collection to buy him a present and wish him well; the speech began "although Mr xxx is a stranger here." I think people are much more willing to accept others now.

I've lived around Cambridge for 20+ years but will always consider another part of England as "home" even though I have no intention of ever living there. The vast majority of adults who live in this area are not from here originally and of course there's a significant number for whom English is not their first language.

I meant to pass on some comments from an American colleague who spent a couple of months here over the summer. One was "why do British people end texts with xx or xxx?", another was "why is TJ Maxx called TK Maxx in Britain?" She was also surprised to find that fortnight is a word in regular use and that we don't use creamer in hot drinks.

shelivesthedream

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #157 on: September 27, 2017, 12:05:42 PM »
What *is* creamer? I've been imagining it like condensed milk, which sounds disgusting

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #158 on: September 27, 2017, 12:31:26 PM »
Yes, it is much like condensed milk, sometimes with flavourings. In hotels it is nearly always powdered or in those tiny little pots. I am not a fan.

Kwill

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #159 on: September 27, 2017, 01:10:30 PM »
I meant to pass on some comments from an American colleague who spent a couple of months here over the summer. One was "why do British people end texts with xx or xxx?", another was "why is TJ Maxx called TK Maxx in Britain?" She was also surprised to find that fortnight is a word in regular use and that we don't use creamer in hot drinks.

I've wondered about the x's at the end of messages or texts. In American usage, those would stand for hugs or kisses, but they seem too common here to mean the same thing. What does it mean?

I looked up the TK Maxx thing before. Wikipedia says it's because of potential trademark concerns in the UK. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TK_Maxx

I'm OK with milk instead of cream or creamer, but I don't understand why Starbucks here only offers skimmed or semi-skimmed milk unless you ask especially for cream or whole milk. Why would anyone bother to put skimmed milk in coffee? But I guess it depends on what you're used to. A few years ago in a museum cafe in the States, there was a customer with an English accent who seemed completely perplexed by the fairly standard array of dairy options for coffee: half and half, whole, 2%, and skim. I had to explain and finally just point out which one was regular milk.

Kwill

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #160 on: September 27, 2017, 01:15:43 PM »
Everywhere has stereotypes about people from other places. Overweight and loud would both be common beliefs to have about Americans, I've never heard eating funny and talking through noses before (although the French have a stereotype that Americans speak without opening their mouths.)

Well, nobody has actually said Americans talk through their noses, but they have said that the American accent sounds nasal. I use my fork and knife like an American still, and the more formal the setting, the more that stands out as strange and, at least according to one person, barbaric.

I'm a fairly small and quiet American, so maybe people feel free to share their overall view of my countrymen as large and loud because they can make an exception for present company? This has come up a number of times.

cerat0n1a

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #161 on: September 27, 2017, 02:31:53 PM »
I've wondered about the x's at the end of messages or texts. In American usage, those would stand for hugs or kisses, but they seem too common here to mean the same thing. What does it mean?

Same here - just it seems like (some) British people use them a lot more than Americans do.

I'm a fairly small and quiet American, so maybe people feel free to share their overall view of my countrymen as large and loud because they can make an exception for present company?

Or maybe they're just rude? I guess a sign of being accepted somewhere is when people feel it's OK to tease you?

Which reminds of another alleged cultural difference. An American friend told me that he would consider it acceptable to help yourself to food from a friend's fridge without asking in the US, but not here. Does that sound right?

Kwill

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #162 on: September 27, 2017, 03:18:10 PM »
An American friend told me that he would consider it acceptable to help yourself to food from a friend's fridge without asking in the US, but not here. Does that sound right?

I don't know. Maybe he has some very close friends he's known since childhood or who he spends time with on a regular basis, watching tv or something? Or maybe it is different with men and women or with different kinds of households.

There aren't many people in the States that I know well enough to go raiding their fridges, let alone here. It might depend on the person. When I'm staying with my parents or my cousins, I help myself to food from the fridge if I am sure it isn't meant for a particular meal. I might fix myself something if I'm staying with friends and they specifically tell me to feel free to help myself, especially if they are busy with small children or will be leaving me alone while they're at work. When I had housemates, we tended to keep things separate for the most part.

ixtap

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #163 on: September 27, 2017, 03:22:57 PM »
An American friend told me that he would consider it acceptable to help yourself to food from a friend's fridge without asking in the US, but not here. Does that sound right?

I don't know. Maybe he has some very close friends he's known since childhood or who he spends time with on a regular basis, watching tv or something? Or maybe it is different with men and women or with different kinds of households.

There aren't many people in the States that I know well enough to go raiding their fridges, let alone here. It might depend on the person. When I'm staying with my parents or my cousins, I help myself to food from the fridge if I am sure it isn't meant for a particular meal. I might fix myself something if I'm staying with friends and they specifically tell me to feel free to help myself, especially if they are busy with small children or will be leaving me alone while they're at work. When I had housemates, we tended to keep things separate for the most part.

In my America that is so unTrue that people feel the need to expressly say "help yourself" when they have asked you to take care of their children or home for an extended period of time without them around. I would never just go hang out with a friend and then rifle through the fridge while they were in another room.

Maybe there folks would never say "help yourself" when a friend mentioned that they were peckish, but would get up and get something for their guest?

Kwill

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #164 on: September 27, 2017, 04:19:54 PM »
In my America that is so unTrue that people feel the need to expressly say "help yourself" when they have asked you to take care of their children or home for an extended period of time without them around. I would never just go hang out with a friend and then rifle through the fridge while they were in another room.

Maybe there folks would never say "help yourself" when a friend mentioned that they were peckish, but would get up and get something for their guest?

I didn't mean that I was taking care of the kids or the home. I was thinking of a situation when I was spending time with a friend who had her hands full with the children. Before she had kids and even when she had only one kid, she was more protective of her kitchen. Now that she has four, it's less of an intrusion and more of a help if I get what I need for myself.

former player

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #165 on: September 27, 2017, 04:56:18 PM »

I'm a fairly small and quiet American, so maybe people feel free to share their overall view of my countrymen as large and loud because they can make an exception for present company?

Or maybe they're just rude? I guess a sign of being accepted somewhere is when people feel it's OK to tease you?

There is definitely a strand of English culture (and I think it is specifically English and posslbly Scottish rather than British) in which it completely acceptable to insult your friends but enemies must be treated with the utmost politeness.

shelivesthedream

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #166 on: September 28, 2017, 12:33:49 AM »

I'm a fairly small and quiet American, so maybe people feel free to share their overall view of my countrymen as large and loud because they can make an exception for present company?

Or maybe they're just rude? I guess a sign of being accepted somewhere is when people feel it's OK to tease you?

There is definitely a strand of English culture (and I think it is specifically English and posslbly Scottish rather than British) in which it completely acceptable to insult your friends but enemies must be treated with the utmost politeness.

+1 Banter!

cerat0n1a

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #167 on: September 28, 2017, 01:16:19 AM »
There is definitely a strand of English culture (and I think it is specifically English and posslbly Scottish rather than British) in which it completely acceptable to insult your friends but enemies must be treated with the utmost politeness.

Very much Aussies &  Kiwis too.

dreams_and_discoveries

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #168 on: September 28, 2017, 05:34:33 AM »
You cultural problems abound everywhere, at work I'm trying to work out whether I should tell someone calling me "dear" is so inappropriate - they are in India, and must have picked the phrase up from somewhere.....

cerat0n1a

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #169 on: September 28, 2017, 06:36:25 AM »
You cultural problems abound everywhere, at work I'm trying to work out whether I should tell someone calling me "dear" is so inappropriate - they are in India, and must have picked the phrase up from somewhere.....

It's really common to do this in India - and it always sounds odd to us. I often get addressed as "Hi dear" or "Hello dear" and have to tell people that we only use dear for close family members and it's better to use someone's name, or just say hello without any salutation. People in Hindi will often add "Sahab" or "Bhai" to show they're being friendly and so I think end up using sir/madam or dear incorrectly. I would definitely contact them 1:1 and explain it, so that they don't come across as weird to other people. When I first started dealing with people in Japan in the 1990s, it was very helpful to have someone Japanese correct me on correct forms of address from time to time - I think most people are happy to be politely helped if it's not done in public.

ixtap

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #170 on: September 28, 2017, 06:41:02 AM »
You cultural problems abound everywhere, at work I'm trying to work out whether I should tell someone calling me "dear" is so inappropriate - they are in India, and must have picked the phrase up from somewhere.....

It's really common to do this in India - and it always sounds odd to us. I often get addressed as "Hi dear" or "Hello dear" and have to tell people that we only use dear for close family members and it's better to use someone's name, or just say hello without any salutation. People in Hindi will often add "Sahab" or "Bhai" to show they're being friendly and so I think end up using sir/madam or dear incorrectly. I would definitely contact them 1:1 and explain it, so that they don't come across as weird to other people. When I first started dealing with people in Japan in the 1990s, it was very helpful to have someone Japanese correct me on correct forms of address from time to time - I think most people are happy to be politely helped if it's not done in public.

Having lived in the Southern US, I will take dear any day over the Chinese use of "lady". I am sure it is being taught as the translation of something acceptable in their culture, but it grates on me.

dreams_and_discoveries

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #171 on: September 28, 2017, 07:37:31 AM »
I was just discussing with a colleague, and I think 'dear' has connotations and can be used to oppress, similar to that demonstrated by David Cameron in the commons once.

Lady also sounds strange...

cerat0n1a

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #172 on: September 28, 2017, 07:43:51 AM »
I was just discussing with a colleague, and I think 'dear' has connotations and can be used to oppress, similar to that demonstrated by David Cameron in the commons once.

True if being used by a British person, but it's gender neutral when being misapplied by an Indian. They think it's the right/friendly thing to say, not trying to offend/patronise.

Kwill

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #173 on: September 29, 2017, 01:20:20 AM »
. . . When I first started dealing with people in Japan in the 1990s, it was very helpful to have someone Japanese correct me on correct forms of address from time to time - I think most people are happy to be politely helped if it's not done in public.

You've been dealing with Japanese people in Japanese since the 1990s? I am suddenly concerned we may know each other in real life. I take back anything inappropriate I've ever said here.

cerat0n1a

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #174 on: September 29, 2017, 04:49:31 AM »
. . . When I first started dealing with people in Japan in the 1990s, it was very helpful to have someone Japanese correct me on correct forms of address from time to time - I think most people are happy to be politely helped if it's not done in public.

You've been dealing with Japanese people in Japanese since the 1990s? I am suddenly concerned we may know each other in real life. I take back anything inappropriate I've ever said here.

I have, but I highly doubt we know each other :-)

(I work in silicon chip design and Japan used to be quite important in that industry.)

I do know a woman from Cambridge who trained to become a missionary in Japan; she does things like translating Victorian methodist hymns into Japanese, which seems a bit pointless to me, but she thinks it's god's work.

Kwill

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Re: UK Mustachian life basics?
« Reply #175 on: January 22, 2018, 12:01:51 PM »
It's been about two years now, and I think I've covered many of the UK Mustachian life basics thanks to help from all of you. I'm starting a journal now, in which I'm trying to be somewhat more anonymous about my details. Maybe the journal can be for intermediate-level UK Mustachian life. :-)